Statistics - national statistics

Free flow vehicle speeds in Great Britain: 2012

This Statistical Release presents estimates on the speed of traffic in free flowing conditions on roads in Great Britain during 2012.

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Free flow vehicle speeds in Great Britain: 2012

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Free flow vehicle speeds in Great Britain: 2012 and XLS tables

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If you use assistive technology and need a version of this document in a more accessible format please email webmasterdft@dft.gsi.gov.uk quoting your address, telephone number along with the title of the publication ("Free flow vehicle speeds in Great Britain: 2012 and XLS tables").

Detail

These statistics provide insight into the speeds at which drivers choose to travel and their compliance with speed limits, but should not be taken as estimates of actual average speed across the road network.

Key points:

  • On motorways, 48% of cars exceeded the 70 mph speed limit in 2012, a decrease of one percentage point from 2011. 12% of cars in 2012 travelled at 80 mph or faster, continuing the downward trend seen in recent years.
  • Compared to 2002, the percentage of vehicles exceeding the limit on 30 mph roads has fallen for every vehicle type, excluding motorcycles which has increased by 3 percentage points.
  • Between 2011 and 2012, the percentage of cars exceeding the 30 mph speed limit remained unchanged at 47%.
  • 82% of articulated heavy goods vehicles exceeded their 50 mph speed limit on dual carriageways and 73% exceeded their 40 mph limit on single carriageways.
  • In 2012, motorcycles had the highest average free flow speeds across all road types except motorways for which cars and light goods vehicles were the highest at 69 mph. Motorcycles had the highest proportion travelling at least 10 mph above the speed limit on motorways (18%) and dual carriageways (19%).

Technical information:

Information on free flow vehicle speeds, including the pre-release access list can be found here

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